Remains of B-52 aircrew laid to rest at Arlington
A full funeral procession marches for a group burial ceremony for six fallen crewmembers of a B-52 Stratofortress that crashed July 21 off Guam's Northwest coast Nov. 14 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Five of the crew members were stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., deployed to Guam with the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron as part of the Defense Department's continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific. The sixth crewmember was the deputy commander of 36th Medical Group at Andersen AFB, Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Catherine Thompson)
Remains of B-52 aircrew laid to rest at Arlington



Air Combat Command Public Affairs

11/19/2008 - ARLINGTON, Va. -- The remains of six B-52 Stratofortress aircrew members killed when their aircraft crashed off the northwest coast of Guam July 21 were laid to rest in a ceremony held Nov. 14 at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Dozens of family members, friends and Airmen gathered at the graveside to bury Col. George T. Martin, Maj. Christopher M. Cooper, Maj. Brent D. Williams, Capt. Michael K. Dodson, 1st Lt. Robert D. Gerren and 1st Lt. Joshua D. Shepherd. Five of the six aircrew members were assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and Colonel Martin was a flight surgeon and deputy commander of the 36th Medical Group at Andersen Air Base, Guam. 

The Barksdale Airmen were deployed to Guam with the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron as part of DOD's continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific. The bomber was flying a training mission and was scheduled to perform a flyover for Guam's Liberation Day parade when it crashed. 

"We find that this nation, for nearly 150 years, has done what we're doing today. That is to bring our honored sons and daughters here to Arlington National Cemetery to take their place with other patriots who have been laid to rest here," said Chaplain (Col.) Charlie Stutts, who officiated at the ceremony along with Chaplain (Col.) Martin McGuill. "Men and women who answered the call of their country--who all served that this nation might be free. Some, like those today, gave of themselves fully. Today as we come to this final resting place, we show our respect and honor (them)." 

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz paid their respects to the Airmen's families as well. General Schwartz presented a representative of each aircrew member's family with a U.S. flag. 

"It was an honor to present the flag to our cherished families as a token of our sincere remorse for their loss and our utmost gratitude for their family's sacrifice," said General Schwartz. "We can never express the full magnitude of our respect for their selfless service in defense of our Nation."